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Standing Ruler
Standing Ruler

Standing Ruler

Guatemala, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 600–800
Ceramic with traces of paint
9 3/8 x 3 7/8 x 3 7/8 in. (23.8 x 9.9 x 9.8 cm)
AP 1984.03
The surviving works of Maya civilization range from the smallest objects to great edifices. Among the small-scale artworks of the Maya are many exquisite ceramic figurines only a few inches high.
Amphora-Shaped Vase
Amphora-Shaped Vase

Amphora-Shaped Vase

China, probably Hebei province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
7th or 8th century A.D.
Stoneware with transparent glaze
H. 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm); Diam. 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm)
AP 1969.16
The amphora shape of this vase, modeled after Hellenistic prototypes, has been translated into Chinese idiom by the use of a single color glaze and the substitution of dragon handles for the ordinary loop variety.
Earth Spirit
Earth Spirit

Earth Spirit

China, probably Shaanxi province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
First half of the 8th century
Gray earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
31 1/8 x 7 9/16 x 11 1/4 in. (79.1 x 19.2 x 28.5 cm)
AP 2001.02
The inclusion of fantastic animal guardians as part of the retinue of tomb figures began in the Northern Wei dynasty (A.D. 386–534) and continued into the Tang dynasty.
Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross
Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross

Censer Stand with the Head of a Supernatural Being with a Kan Cross

Mexico, Usumacinta region, Chiapas, Palenque, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900)
c. A.D. 690-720
Ceramic with traces of pigments
44 7/8 × 21 1/2 × 11 1/2 in. (114 × 54.6 × 29.2 cm)
AP 2013.02
Monumental ceramic censer stands are some of the finest and largest freestanding sculptures created by Maya artists.
Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld
Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld

Censer Stand with the Head of the Jaguar God of the Underworld

Mexico, Usumacinta region, Chiapas, Palenque, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900)
c. A.D. 690-720
Ceramic with traces of pigments
44 × 22 × 12 1/4 in. (111.8 × 55.9 × 31.1 cm)
AP 2013.01
Monumental ceramic censer stands are some of the finest and largest freestanding sculptures created by Maya artists.
Vessel with Ceremonial Scene
Vessel with Ceremonial Scene

Vessel with Ceremonial Scene

Mexico, Campeche, Jaina Island (?), Maya culture, Chocholá style
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 690–750
Carved ceramic with traces of pigment
H. 8 1/8 in. (20.7 cm); Diam. 6 13/16 in. (17.3 cm)
APx 1974.04
The scene on this vessel appears to depict a ritual that is being enacted in a sumptuous palace interior, indicated by the swagged curtain framing the top of the scene.
Stela with a Ruler
Stela with a Ruler

Stela with a Ruler

Guatemala, Petén region, El Peru, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
A.D. 692
Limestone
107 3/8 x 68 3/8 in. (272.7 x 173.7 cm)
AP 1970.02
The Maya were prolific makers of carved stone-slab monuments, or stelae, which were normally set up within architectural complexes and most often portray specific, named individuals who were members of the hereditary dynasties that ruled Maya city-states.
Pendant: Twin Warriors
Pendant: Twin Warriors

Pendant: Twin Warriors

Panama, Azuero Peninsula, Conte Style
Late Classic to Postclassic period (600–1521)
c. 700–1200
Gold
3 1/4 x 4 13/16 x 1 in. (8.2 x 12.2 x 2.5 cm) Weight: 0.63 lb. (286.8 g)
AP 1979.23
The art of casting elaborate designs in gold had emerged in Panama by the middle of the first millennium A.D.; regional schools excelled in the techniques of cast and beaten gold.
Pendant: Two Deer Heads
Pendant: Two Deer Heads

Pendant: Two Deer Heads

Panama, Azuero Peninsula, Conte Style
Late Classic to Postclassic period (600–1521)
c. 700–1200
Gold
2 13/16 x 4 11/16 x 1 in. (7.2 x 11.9 x 2.5 cm) Weight: 0.42 lb. (188.4 g)
AP 1979.24
The art of casting elaborate designs in gold had emerged in Panama by the middle of the first millennium a.d.; regional schools excelled in the techniques of cast and beaten gold.
Vessel with a Ball Game Scene
Vessel with a Ball Game Scene

Vessel with a Ball Game Scene

Mexico or Guatemala, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 700–800
Polychromed ceramic
H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm); Diam. 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm)
AP 1989.05
The figures on Vessel with a Ball Game Scene are engaged in a ritual ball game commonly played in Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900) Maya cities. The protective ball game equipment includes a heavy wood-and-leather belt and knee pad.
Vessel with Two Gods before a Mountain
Vessel with Two Gods before a Mountain

Vessel with Two Gods before a Mountain

Guatemala, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 700–800
Carved ceramic with traces of pigment
H. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm); Diam. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
AP 1980.10
The elaborate mythological scene on this vessel, carved in low relief in the leather-hard clay before firing, achieves at a smaller scale much the same effect as the Maya stone relief carvings.
Vessel of the Ik’ Dancer
Vessel of the Ik’ Dancer

Vessel of the Ik’ Dancer

Guatemala, Maya culture
Precolumbian
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 750
Polychromed ceramic
H. 8 3/4 in. (22.3 cm); Diam. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)
AP 1985.10
This vessel depicts a Maya lord nicknamed the Fat Cacique, ruler of the Ik’ polity. The action of the scene is divided between the interior and exterior of a palace building raised on a low platform with two steps.
Vessel with a Procession of Warriors
Vessel with a Procession of Warriors

Vessel with a Procession of Warriors

Mexico, Usumacinta River Valley, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 750–850
Polychromed ceramic
H. 6 5/16 in. (16 cm); Diam. 6 5/16 in. (16 cm)
APx 1976.16
This vessel depicts a parade of warriors after a battle. The naked figure is a captive who is being led by an elaborately dressed warrior for sacrificial display. The leader of the party may be the figure wearing a full jaguar pelt and wielding a bloody weapon.
Vessel with Five Figures
Vessel with Five Figures

Vessel with Five Figures

Mexico, Usumacinta River Valley, Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
c. A.D. 750–800
Polychromed ceramic
H. 10 3/16 in. (25.8 cm); Diam. 6 1/4 in. (15.8 cm)
AG 1979.02
Processional scenes are a common mode of representation on Maya painted vessels. On each side of this vessel a noble lord prepares to dance with a lady.
Vessel with an Enthroned Lord and Seated Figure
Vessel with an Enthroned Lord and Seated Figure

Vessel with an Enthroned Lord and Seated Figure

Mexico, Xcalumkin (Northern Lowlands), Maya culture
Late Classic period (A.D. 600–900)
A.D. 765
Incised ceramic (fine grayware) with traces of red pigment
H. 9 in. (22.9 cm); Diam. 6 3/4 in. (17.2 cm)
AP 2000.04
This superbly incised Maya vessel depicts a young lord seated upon a low, wooden-basketry throne draped with a fringed jaguar skin. He is elaborately dressed in a luxurious fur or feather cape and wears a feathered headdress inside of which is perched a stuffed monkey.
Bodhisattva Torso
Bodhisattva Torso

Bodhisattva Torso

China, probably Shanxi province
Tang dynasty (618–907)
c. 775–800
Stone, traces of gesso and pigment
39 x 12 15/16 x 8 in. (99 x 32.8 x 20.3 cm)
AP 1987.01
The evolution of Chinese Buddhist sculpture from archaic and columnar to fleshy and sensuous reached its culmination in the Tang dynasty, by which time Chinese Buddhist sculpture in the round shows a masterful adaptation of foreign Indian style to indigenous traditions.

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